Legal Options For Enforcing A Florida Divorce Decree
In an ideal world, by the time parties are enter into a final judgment in a Florida divorce case, both will be satisfied with the result and do their part to enable a smooth transition. Unfortunately, most divorces proceed in the real world. Whether out of spite, procrastination, a disagreement with how the order is interpreted or other motivation, your ex may choose to not comply with the judge’s order. Under the circumstances, it is a relief to know that Florida law addresses this scenario, providing various ways to enforce your divorce decree.
However, having options does not necessarily mean you will know how to utilize them. You could forego important rights if you do not have a legal background, so it is wise to rely on a Dade City divorce attorney for assistance with the appropriate remedies. You can also read on for a few strategies for enforcing a Florida divorce decree.
Issues You Can Enforce in Your Florida Divorce Decree
It is important to understand the impact of a court order in any type of case: By signing an order, the judge is basically issuing a private law that requires the parties to follow the instructions contained therein. As a result, there are consequences for breaking “the law” – i.e., the contents of your divorce decree. You may be able to exercise one or more of the enforcement options below if your spouse:
- Fails to sell the family home, other real estate, or personal property items;
- Neglects to pay marital debt;
- Refuses to pay alimony;
- Does not comply with child custody or visitation requirements, including allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time; or
- Fails to pay child support OR provide details to a new employer regarding support obligations.
Options for Enforcing Your Divorce Decree
From the above description, you can see that there are different types of relief you may seek when your ex does not comply with the divorce court order. However, in most cases, your strategy will be the same: You will file a motion for enforcement with the divorce court. In your paperwork, you may request that the judge grant certain remedies, such as:
- Delivery of assets that your ex failed to turn over or sign off on for a transfer of ownership;
- A money judgment, if an asset lost value, was destroyed, or no longer exists because of misconduct by your ex;
- A finding that your ex is in contempt of court for failing to comply with the divorce decree, which may include payment of fines and even jail time; and
- Attorneys’ fees expended through your enforcement efforts.
Get Legal Advice from a Florida Divorce Attorney
These are just a few of the options for enforcing a Florida divorce decree, but the exact strategy will vary based upon your unique circumstances. For more information, please contact The Law Office of Laurie R. Chane to set up a consultation. You can reach our Dade City, FL location at 352-567-0055 or via our website. After we assess your situation, we can discuss next steps.